Technology Can Help the Go and See Process

This is part of my reflections from the OpsInsight Forum in Boston.

There were a lot of technology companies presenting at the forum.  The companies had a lot of pretty cool technology that could be used.  AT&T presented their business mobility solutions.  It was not around the iPhone.  It was technology designed to bring real-time visibility to supply chain needs, inventory and performance dashboards.

I was very intrigued by what they were presenting.  The lean thinker in me thought to slooooooow down.  What would be the purpose of the technology?  How would it help?  It does no good to implement technology on something that will not drive any action.

Real-time technology for inventory, supply chain needs, and dashboards can have a negative effect.  If the leadership is not in the habit of going and seeing what is happening all real-time technology will do is allow a quicker solution response without understanding what is actually happening.

The real-time technology can be a great enhancement for leadership that is in the habit of going and seeing.  The quick alert of an issue can allow them to get to the area to witness the problem before it disappears.  Since the leadership sees the problem in real-time they have a better understanding and can have a countermeasure in place quicker.

Without the real-time technology, the leadership may not find out about the issue until it has disappeared which means they have to wait for the issue to come up again in order to understand the problem or spend time recreating the issue.  The team loses time before they can have a countermeasure in place.

If the leadership does not have the go and see mindset then all the real-time technology in the world will not help change the behavior.  Technology is a wonderful thing, but “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Posted on May 11, 2011, in Principles, Technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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